Can augmented technology enhance CSR / Sustainability reporting?

We know that CSR / Sustainability reports are not the most interesting bedtime reading. Despite some great work by the individuals in the CSR / Sustainability departments a CSR / Sustainability report can not really be more then some pictures and text on a piece of paper at this point in time.

Todays post is about introducing you to the topic of augmented technology. Sounds very complex and techie but don’t worry it is really easy to understand. This is the general concept: By using augmented technology, in our case smart phones, we as readers will be able to have an enhanced view and perception of the content and pictures of this CSR / Sustainability report. If I have lost you here please bear with me and watch this video below.

Here is a video to provide you with a practical example of how this technology is being used already (please disregard the horrible facial hair of the presenter 😉 )

How can this technology could be used to enhance CSR / Sustainability Reports?
In many different ways is the answer. Here are some possibilities. First from a companies perspective and then from the stakeholder perspective.

Company Perspective
Let’s view this from a recycling/ waste company’s perspective: Here augmented technology (when you hold your smart phone (iPhone, etc.) in front of this picture) can be used to provide the reader with so much more context by using different layers in images. Imagine a derelict landscape which during the course of the years has been transformed into a wildlife sanctuary again. Here the company finally has the company to show past and present all in a sequence and not by having to explain everything in detail with lots of text which no one will read anyway.

Stakeholder Perspective
As a stakeholder, this technology enables us to find the interesting bits and pieces of information much easier. Imagine you are viewing a chart of selected environmental key indicators. Only the past 2 years are displayed in order for you to see the short term progress the company has made. But holding your smart phone in front of this chart you will be able to see 5 years worth of data if you interested in a longer term view of the data.

The picture on the right is showing some glaciers in the Alps. By holding your iPhone towards them, the distance to these glaciers from your location and their altitude is being displayed.

These are only two examples (as you know I like to keep it short) on how this technology could be used to enhance CSR / Sustainability Reports. But enough from me now.

What is your view?
What is your view on this technology? Have you come across it before and do you think this would be valuable to enhance CSR / Sustainability reports?

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  1. I think augmented reality has great potentials : giving direction , giving information on building , places and objects around you, also for gaming.

    A very first step has been taken with iphone / android application that will scan for barcode and give you sustainable informations on products. But the application needs to fill a huge database on product. There is really a big market for it if the number of smartphone keep increasing and people habit goes in the right way.

    You re talking about taking CSR report off the paper and to give more in depth access to data ( not just a one year report ). That is really a huge steps that some companies are taking by giving a more web 2.0 format to their data ( real time data and graphs , possibility to analysis and select data ) and buy giving a social dimension to the report too ( dialog with shareholders , using blogs or other tools ).

    But all these steps , all these tools need customers to be educated to use them. In social media in general , the company that succeed are lead by their customers. They adapt to their need and answer their need. Having augmented reality will probably become part of our life when the eco system around it will be developer. I see huge potential for crowd sourced reports made by stakeholders , using the tools organisations give them.

    1. Thanks for the comment. I agree that education and a gradual approach is needed to make most of these new tools.
      Do you have any examples of crowd sourced reports?

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